Theories of Beauty

Course Code: PHIL 2015

Academic Year: 2021-2022

Beauty is mesmerizing. It captures our attention, fuels our imagination and leads us to risk our money, our time, our energy, our values, and even, on occasion, our lives in its pursuit. Yet despite its influence and power, we rarely sit back and consider the nature of beauty. What is beauty? Where is it to be found? And why is it so captivating? This course explores answers to these questions offered by central figures in the history of aesthetics, including Plato, Tolstoy, Bell, Freud, Benjamin, Danto and Bourdieu. The course also introduces key movements in the history of art, including impressionism, post-impressionism, abstract expressionism, conceptual art, modernism and post-modernism. Students will apply the theoretical ideas/concepts developed in the lectures and readings to examples of contemporary visual art. Category and Level: Arts and Humanities, Lower Level Restrictions: None